Arctic Council Taking Regional Development Reins

International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)
Monday, June 10, 2013
Arctic Summer Ice: Photo courtesy of NOAA

What was once a small group meeting to discuss scientific & technical cooperation has grown into a forum in which legally binding agreements between states are brokered.

In the 16 years since the creation of the Arctic Council, both the physical environment of the Arctic and the level of international attention paid to this once-obscure forum have changed dramatically. At the Council's latest meeting in mid-May, in Kiruna, Sweden, ministers added new international observers, bolstered the Council's governance capacity and agreed on a common vision for the next 16 years, notes the IISS in a recent report.

For the second time, the biennial meeting attracted the participation of all Arctic foreign ministers – with the exception of Canada. Its delegation was led instead by Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, who, as an Inuk, becomes the first indigenous person to chair the Council – Canada assumed the chair from Sweden at the end of the Kiruna meeting.

Ministers attending the meeting, including United States Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, signed a legally binding agreement on oil-spill prevention and response – the second such agreement brokered by the Council, after the 2011 Arctic Search and Rescue Agreement – and the ‘Kiruna Declaration’ , which aims to improve economic and social conditions, mitigate the impact of climate change, protect the Arctic environment and strengthen the Arctic Council.

Climate change is affecting the Arctic more than any other area of the Earth. Temperatures there are increasing at twice the global average. The scale of Arctic sea ice loss has been more dramatic than most climate scientists had anticipated, with the ice cap shrinking and thinning annually to around half of the volume recorded in 1979 when measurements began. Industries such as mining, shipping, oil and gas, fishing and tourism, are looking to take advantage of melting sea ice to expand into this previously inaccessible corner of the world.

The Kiruna meeting marked a further step in the Arctic Council’s development into a regional intergovernmental body that cooperatively addresses a broad range of issues arising amid significant environmental, economic and geopolitical change. With its expanded capacities and remit, and the heightened interest of the international community and industry in the Arctic, the Council’s role as a force for regional stability will continue to grow.

According to the IISS, with the Councili's expanded capacities and remit, and the heightened interest of the international community and industry in the Arctic, the Council’s role as a force for regional stability will continue to grow.

Source: International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)
 

Maritime Reporter March 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

Japan, U.S. Look to Expand Naval Cooperation

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to allow Tokyo to come to the aid of an ally under attack will pave the way for closer cooperation between U.S. and Japanese forces across Asia, a top U.

India Halts Iran oil Imports Under U.S. Pressure

Oil imports from Iran at 220,000 bpd in year to March 31. U.S. pressured India not to raise annual Iran oil imports. India halted oil imports from Iran for the

EU to Ban Scrapping Ships on South Asian Beaches

Over 60 pct of ships scrapped on Asian beaches in 2014. Practice poses human risk, environmental dangers. New EU rules set high standards, but with loopholes. European,

Government Update

Japan, U.S. Look to Expand Naval Cooperation

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to allow Tokyo to come to the aid of an ally under attack will pave the way for closer cooperation between U.S. and Japanese forces across Asia, a top U.

India Halts Iran oil Imports Under U.S. Pressure

Oil imports from Iran at 220,000 bpd in year to March 31. U.S. pressured India not to raise annual Iran oil imports. India halted oil imports from Iran for the

EU to Ban Scrapping Ships on South Asian Beaches

Over 60 pct of ships scrapped on Asian beaches in 2014. Practice poses human risk, environmental dangers. New EU rules set high standards, but with loopholes. European,

Arctic Operations

Rolls-Royce Propulsion Package for Polar Ship

Rolls-Royce has been awarded a contract by ship builder Fincantieri to supply a fully integrated propulsion system for Norway’s new Polar Research Vessel, which

USA Urged Not to Delay Arctic Drilling

The U.S. should immediately begin a push to exploit its enormous trove of oil in the Arctic waters off of Alaska, or risk a renewed reliance on imported oil in the future, reports AP.

Nations Convene for Arctic Maritime Discussion

Citing an increasing need to ensure safety, security and stewardship of Arctic waters, member countries of the Arctic Council gathered at U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters

Offshore Energy

Japan, U.S. Look to Expand Naval Cooperation

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's push to allow Tokyo to come to the aid of an ally under attack will pave the way for closer cooperation between U.S. and Japanese forces across Asia, a top U.

BP Terminates GoM Rig Contracts

BP terminated contracts for two deepwater oil drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico as the British oil company slashes its exploration budget due to fallen oil prices.

MacGregor Appoints Høyesen as VP

MacGregor reorganized into seven operative divisions in the beginning of 2015 to improve customer focus.   Offshore Mooring and Loading Division drives the development

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.4960 sec (2 req/sec)